Advanced search

This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at if you'd like to know more about how they work.

NOW CLOSED: Do you buy Fairtrade products? Share your views (and hear about The Big Fair Bake) – and you could win a fab Baking Goodie Bag worth £100

(142 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-Sep-12 14:39:41

We've been asked by The Fairtrade Foundation to find out your thoughts on why Fairtrade products aren't bought by more people and also to encourage you to get involved in the Big Fair Bake.

Add your thoughts below - or share how you're getting involved (including who (person, group etc) you'd love to bake for) for a chance to win a lovely Baking Goodie Bag (worth £100).

The Fairtrade Foundation say "we think baking tastes better when you share it, so we want The Big Fair Bake to inspire the nation to bake for others. It's as simple as buying a few Fairtrade ingredients, popping on your pinny or rolling up your sleeves and baking up a treat - not just for friends, family, colleagues, but also the farming communities in developing countries who grew the ingredients".

"Baking with Fairtrade ingredients is one easy way for everyone to make a difference to millions of people who desperately need a better deal from trade. Without a fair price for the crops they grow, many farmers struggle to support their families. Fairtrade offers farmers and workers the safety net of a fair price today and a little extra to invest in projects which benefit the whole community, such as clean water, education and health care".

"The good news is that sales of Fairtrade products have reached £1.3 billion in the UK, however this still only accounts for 3% of all our food and drink purchases"

The Fairtrade Foundation would love to know your thoughts on what would make you bake with more Fairtrade ingredients? How can they encourage others to do so too?

Let us know what you think and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnetter will win a fantastic Bake Goodie Bag, packed with £100 worth of Tala baking equipment, Fairtrade baking ingredients (including cocoa, vanilla, nuts, chocolate and dried fruit), cake decorations and complementary Fairtrade products to enjoy with your cakes, including tea and coffee.

You can find out more about The Big Fair Bake here.

Thanks and good luck!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Oct-12 19:48:19

Thanks for all the comments.
thefudgeling has been pulled out of the hat as the winner of the Fairtrade goodies. Congrats.

californiaburrito Tue 02-Oct-12 13:18:13

I regularly buy FT items but there are a few exceptions- for instance vanilla extract/paste because of the quality of the non FT product. (I do try to do FT vanilla beans but not always). I am happy to pay about 10-15% more on a product if it is FT.

But I think FT can be a difficult sell because it seems complicated, there's a lot of scary economics and politics involved. And also, accusations of manufactures making a higher profit margin on FT products is worrying.

Notgoingtotakeitanymore Mon 01-Oct-12 20:43:42

It's not always obvious what is fair trade. When shopping quickly I tend to just go for the standard sainsburys brand as it is prominently placed.
I have bought a lot of fair trade things at xmas, e.g. froom Oxfam catalogue - it reminds me to do this.

WomanlyWoman Mon 01-Oct-12 11:27:57

It's a tricky one. I buy some fairtrade products. Reasons I don't buy more include; price, availability and habit.

I tend to stick to buying the same things and try new things only if they look extra enticing for some reason or if there is a special offer on. I just don't notice fairtrade products a lot of the time too.

Maybe emphasis needs to be on the fact that the quality makes them good value, as obviously many people see them as too pricey. People do want to be fair, but also love bargains so perhaps some way of making them seem like more of a bargain?

feeling guilty now blush

VivaLeBeaver Mon 01-Oct-12 10:35:15

I think sometimes its because it isn't very visable what's Fairtrade.

I buy Fairtrade bananas as the stickers make it obvious.

Never crosses my mind with other products. I'll look next time I shop and if its not that much more I'll try and get more Fairtrade stuff. I don't mind paying a few pence extra but not 20p.

Firewall Mon 01-Oct-12 00:03:33

We buy a lot of fair trade products when it is easy to find the fair trade substitute. For baking especially it is generally quite easy to pick fairtrade products (sugar, cocoa/chocolate) especially when the fair trade version is along side the other brands on shelf. Not only that, the fair trade prices arent drastically different therefore even though times are tough, we feel it's still the right thing to do. I find baking with fair trade products feel a lot more 'natural' and the result from the baking is better and taste better.

I think showing kids where products like chocolate are made and how they are made would help. Showing them the labour and process that is involved and educating them about fair trade.

Jinsei Sun 30-Sep-12 22:43:27

Availability is key for me - I always buy fair trade products if I can find them, even if they are more expensive, but it isn't always possible to get what you need. Before we moved house, we used to shop in sainsbury's and I found that they stocked loads of fair trade items, but the one where we live now is much smaller so we don't really go there any more. Tend to shop in Tesco now, and there doesn't seem to be as much. I still by fair trade coffee always, and do without bananas if I don't like the look of the fair trade ones, but I do sometimes get ordinary sugar if I can't see the fair trade stuff. Have never noticed much in the way of fair trade baking stuff (except chocolate, which I do buy) but would buy it if I saw it.

Fair trade is an issue that is quite close to my heart. I have been buying some fair trade stuff for 20 years but the issue really hit home when I married DH as he is from a poor farming community in a developing country. They work so incredibly hard but get so little for their efforts. It only seems fair that they should be paid a decent price for the stuff that they grow - why should the middleman take it all?

The big fair bake sounds like a great idea. smile

putri Sun 30-Sep-12 17:03:55

We buy fair trade when there is an option. We like the idea behind Fair Trade and support it. As for baking, I can't bake but hubby does and I do buy FT ingredients when possible.

roguepixie Sun 30-Sep-12 15:48:42

I always buy Fairtrade when the option is there: chocolate, bananas, tea, spices, sugar etc. Sometimes these items are the more expensive out of the choice available but I opt for the Fairtrade versions as they help support the farmers in those communities. The more people chose Fairtrade the clearer the message becomes that we want to support the efforts of those less fortunate than us.

Trills Sun 30-Sep-12 14:21:46

I've just ordered some fairtrade coffee instead of my usual stuff - it had better be nice!

mummymccar Sun 30-Sep-12 14:20:04

I try to buy Fair Trade but to be honest I think that there needs to be more public education. Sometimes economics comes down to it, but I concentrate more on the taste when I'm choosing what to buy. If that product is Fair Trade then that is even better. I know that if there was more public demand for FT products then more established brands and household names would make the changes needed. This can only be achieved if the public understands more about fair trade.
My mum and my nan also bake but know nothing about Fair Trade and how the system works so they'll just buy the brands that they recognise.

SirBoobAlot Sun 30-Sep-12 13:50:04

I buy fair trade where I can. Having just checked my cupboard, all my baking stuff is fair trade. I'd like to see more things fair trade automatically.

Clothing is hideously expensive, and whilst I know that sounds very selfish, unfortunately sometimes I have to put our own finances first.

VainViolet Sat 29-Sep-12 21:07:22

I think fairtrade need to intergrate more with similar products. I have 4 children and shop in Aldi and free range chickens are more or less the same price as non free range so it's a no brainer, I will always buy free range. Can the fairtrade brand work more with supermarkets such as Aldi who mostly sell their own brand of goods? So we could buy fairtrade aldi chocolate for example.

nextphase Sat 29-Sep-12 09:23:16

Oh, and totally unrelated to cooking, but we actually have fairtrade cotton school trousers here at the moment. Mainly because they were cotton and not anything else, and they had an adjustable waist, but they are lovely. I also have a couple of fairtrade cotton teeshirts.

stephgr Sat 29-Sep-12 01:47:48

I buy Fairtrade as much as I can but the products tend to be more expensive so I can't always stretch the budget. If there were lower prices, promotions or extra offers then I think more people would buy Fairtrade.

blondiedollface Fri 28-Sep-12 20:45:23

We buy fairtrade bananas and coffee as I know about the benefits of these products and a few pence more on just these 2 items does not massively impact on our family budget. The importance of fairtrade to our family is huge and we do try to do what we can but in the current financial crisis what we want to do for fairtrade and what we are able to do are vastly different!

xxxkadzxxx Fri 28-Sep-12 19:44:46

I would love for my family to be able to purchase fairtrade products as i would really like to support it but there is no way we can afford to and that is the only reason why we dont.
If the prices were to match the others on the shelf then i would 100% choose fairtrade over anything else despite the brands choice offered.

mrsbunnyw Fri 28-Sep-12 19:09:33

I do buy fairtrade whenever I can; sugar, cocoa, chocolate, tea, coffee, bananas. But there are very many other products for which there is no fairtrade option available in supermarkets.

I think many people are dissuaded because of price, but also some friends just don't believe either that the profits really go to the farmers, or that the farmers are wise enough to use the money for their good. Not a view I share, but certainly one i've heard.

mummybrained Fri 28-Sep-12 16:49:57

though i know we all take personal responsibility, the success of fairtrade relies on stockists giving you the option. My family prefer me to buy fairtrade fruit, coffee, suger, tea, etc. but if you're in Tesco (for instance) instead of Sainsburys the fairtrade option is not one of the cheapest, it really has to be these days to get in the family shopping basket (that said their fairtrade tea is lovely). This year, most of my ethical considerations have flown out the window, sadly, with the freerange chicken, as food prices shoot up.
I hadn't heard of the big bake, sounds like a great idea.
You only have to look as coffeeshops switching to fairtrade coffee as standard to see the difference suppliers can make to our shopping habits. PS there really needs to be more fairtrade chocolate on the market, not just high end stuff but the guilty pleasures in the petrol station shop, would be easier to justify if they were fairtrade

musthavecoffee Fri 28-Sep-12 16:00:50

I buy fair trade where possible, but increasingly I'm governed by price over principle. I strongly believe that the fair trade movement makes a huge difference to peoples lives and it's with this in mind that I try to do my birthday present shopping throughout the year in the local fair trade shop.
Availability is also a deciding factor, the large mainstream companies need to be made to get on board with fair trade!

RememberYoureAWomble Fri 28-Sep-12 09:52:51

We always buy fairtrade tea, coffee and chocolate and usually fairtrade bananas, sugar, cocoa and cashew nuts. This has become much easier and cheaper since Sainsburys have started making a lot of their own-brand products fairtrade. It also really helps when brands like Cadbury's and Nestle have fairtrade products.

If I'm choosing between two products and one has the fairtrade logo and the other doesn't, I'll usually choose the fairtrade product. However, I will often choose local or British produce in preference to produce shipped from overseas in order to minimise the environmental impact. We get most of our fruit and veg via an organic box scheme.

I would bake with more fairtrade products if more were readily available. In particular, it would be nice to be able to get fairtrade chocolate chips and fairtrade cake decorations, especially the chocolate ones. It's great to be able to get fairtrade cooking chocolate now via Green & Black's - it's really nice chocolate too!

racingheart Thu 27-Sep-12 22:36:37

We always buy Fairtrade bananas, coffee, chocolate and cocoa. Can't remember the last time we bought these items without a Fairtrade label. Often buy Fairtrade sugar, biscuits and sweets for the children at church Fairtrade stall. TBH sometimes I buy something because it's what i'm looking for, then see it is Fairtrade, but hadn't chosen it for that reason. However, once I've noticed the label, I do then look out for it and choose it over other brands.

Yes, price is the biggest factor. If it's a few pence more, that's fine, but when it's double, and DH is out of work, it makes no sense.

If you want people to bake with Fairtrade, I'd do a costing per recipe. If people know they can make a great cake or plate of biscuits which work out only a few pence more per slice/cookie that non Fairtrade, and you tie that in with the difference it makes to the farmers, that could be very persuasive.

Also, you could start with some recipes that use the fairtrade items we all buy these days: banana bread; coffee cake with espresso frosting; then add in some recipes that promote the items you want more people to accept as their regular brand.

GetKnitted Thu 27-Sep-12 22:07:17

For myself, price is probably the main issue (not that I'm particularly proud of that reality). On my DH's side, not actually being convinced of the benefit to the producer compared to normal markets is the biggest factor in not going fair.

somanymiles Thu 27-Sep-12 20:03:54

Having the Fairtrade products on the shelf in the major supermarkets is the biggest thing. I will buy Fairtrade if I see it on the shelf, but not if I have to hunt for it. Maybe suggest haveing a Fairtrade section to some of the big supermarkets? That would help. Also, working with the Girl Guide Association and other clubs to draw the links between child labour and buying non fair trade chocolate and sugar - kids really get this stuff and they will "sell" it to their parents. Ditto for kids' tv programs, or even advertising during peak kids' viewing times. I love that Cadbury's dairy milk choc is now fair trade!

EmmelineGoulden Thu 27-Sep-12 18:13:23

A decade plus ago I didn't buy Fairtrade so much because I did not have as much money and generally had to go to a church run shop or Oxfam to get it. Availability and range has improved dramatically since then, as, fortunately, has my income. So I now buy Fairtrade food whenever it's available for the product I want to purchase. I prioritise that over organic though I prefer organic Fairtrade.

Now the main reason I would buy something that wasn't Fairtrade is because Fairtrade isn't available where I'm shopping.

I find places run out of Fairtrade stuff and some can go weeks between restocks. Don't know if that's because (some of) the shops that stock Fairtrade are less good at stock management or because supplies are sometimes erratic.

To encourage people to bake with Fairtrade, I'm not sure. Your Communications and marketing people must surely know what pushes people's buttons in terms of getting them to empathise with and support the Fairtrade mission. But ideas for events:
-Maybe try hooking up with other charities that people do coffee mornings and cake stalls for so you can do a double event promoting Fairtrade and raising money for a different charity?
-Try getting producing a project pack for schools that follows the national curriculum emphasizing Fairtrade info (economics, geography and food tech subjects?). At the end suggest they do a bake sale using Fairtrade ingredients.
-Similarly train up speakers for WI meetings.
-Push a Fairtrade Trading Fair - where people set up a market to sell Fairtrade and secondhand or local goods.
-Try providing "Made with Fairtrade Goods" stickers in with Fairtrade flour and sugar. So people who do bake with Fairtrade goods can advertise that fact easily on each cake they sell.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: